The Loading Program – Tuatara
Fast Horse Recordings 007
In the world of music, artists face many issues, including the recently
popular problem of remixing. Tuatara, composed of Peter Buck (R.E.M.),
Justin Harwood (Luna), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), and Skerik
(Critters Buggin'), made the questionable decision to send their tracks out
to be remixed on The Loading Program.
Backed by world renowned DJs Spooky and Logic, along with Mr. Reliable, DJ
Wally, Michael Franti, and Eric Rosse, The Loading Program creates a
danceable tribal beat for Tuatara's experimental sound. While the CD
contains few highlights, the remixes are not something that you can listen
to in one sitting.
What makes this CD very hard to listen to can be stated as the lack of
feeling and emotion in the songs. Michael Franti typically is known for
filling his songs with various emotions, but on his remixed track,
"Smuggler's Cove," there is an absence of feeling that we typically
associate with his music. Each track sounds very similar with the typically
hard-hitting beat mixed in with some electronica. The true talent that
these DJs are capable of is missing. Whether it is a result of limited
budgets or the sound of Tuatara itself, the DJs did not seem to put great
effort into creating the remixes. Only three tracks contain feeling and are
capable of listening to more than once.
Now, to every rainy day, there is a burst of sunshine. On a brighter note,
a few tracks make this CD worth listening to. These tracks involve amazing
texture, sound, and feeling. "Morocco," remixed by DJ Spooky, takes the
listener into an exploration of tropical and exotic cities with rapidly
paced jungle beats. "The Hangover," remixed by Mr. Reliable, feels exactly
like a hangover with its monotonous beat and ear-piercing electronica.
"Sitar Song," remixed by DJ Logic, flies the listener to the mysterious dark
lands of the East enriched with exotic instruments and mellow beats.
Overall, without the help of the previously listed tracks, The Loading
Program, would spiral into the long line of problematic remixes at the
used CD store.